By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Network for Philippine Studies and
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
March 12, 2005
I thank the Executive Committee of Migrante International for inviting me to convey a message of solidarity and encouragement on the launching of the education movement called PADEPA-MIGRANTE.
I fully agree with the resolve of the leaders and members of Migrante in various parts of the world to adopt the line of struggle for national freedom and democracy in our studies, to root out the problems, to free our minds and expand the membership of Migrante.
We must understand why nearly ten per cent of the Philippine population has left for work abroad. The diaspora is a clear consequence of the underdevelopment of the Philippines and the extreme exploitation, high rate of unemployment and poverty of the overwhelming majority of the Filipino people.
Professionals and highly skilled working men and women leave their family and friends to take bottom jobs and expose themselves to the dangers of inadequate legal protection and far lower income than those of the citizens in the host countries.
The root causes of this sad phenomenon are foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism which oppress and exploit the Filipino people and prevent them from reaping the benefits of genuine independence, national industrialization a nd land reform, a national, scientific and mass culture and a socially just peace.
The dismal conditions of oppression and exploitation have been aggravated and deepened by the so-called policies of export-oriented economy and “free market” globalization and by the evil scheme of US imperialism and the Arroyo puppet regime to use state terrorism to suppress the widespread social discontent and resistance of the people.
All export products of the Philippines are in a state of depression. The reactionary government is extremely dependent on the foreign exchange remittances of the overseas Filipino workers and is ever more extortionate in its exactions. And worse, it emboldens foreign governments and employers to subject our compatriots to the most exploitative conditions of employment.
More than ever the Migrante International must strengthen itself as the organization of Filipino migrants for upholding, defending and advancing their rights. For this purpose, it must engage in educational and propaganda work, build chapters among the migrants and their families at home and mobilize them in conjunction with the broad masses of the Filipino people in the national democratic movement.
The education movement must be linked to consolidating and expanding existing chapters and building new ones. The courses of study must engage not only the existing members of the chapters but also attract new members in significant numbers. They must also be the way for building core groups and new chapters.
The educational and organizational work to strengthen the ranks of Migrante International must be made more effective by campaigns to mobilize the migrants abroad and their families in the motherland around certain issues and demands for promoting the rights and welfare of their sector and the entire Filipino people.
The crisis of the world capitalist system and the domestic ruling system of big compradors and landlords is daily worsening and inflicting more and more acute suffering on the working people. It is of urgent necessity that Migrante International consolidate and expand its ranks in order to cope with the growing economic, social and political problems and meet the challenges for defending the rights and interests of the migrant workers and their families and aiming for a bright future for them and the entire people through their own struggle.###